Champions League: Barcelona 3 – 0 Juventus

Messi scored twice against Juventus
Messi scored twice against Juventus

Juventus were blitzed 4-1 in last season’s Champions League final then Barcelona went down 5-1 in aggregate in the Spanish Super Cup.

However, it was the home side who came up with the answers — and in formidable fashion.

Argentina frontmen Lionel Messi and Paulo Dybala have started the season in brilliant goal scoring form, with their on-pitch battle forming another intriguing subplot.

But the five-time Ballon d’Or-winner showed why he is head-and-shoulders above the rest despite his diminutive stature with two stunning solo strikes.

Barcelona dominated possession in the early part of the first half — yet it was Marc-Andre ter Stegen who was the busier of the two goalkeepers.

The German pulled off a fine save to deny Mattia Di Sciglio’s long range effort.

Though, the referee must have missed it, as he awarded the hosts a goal kick.

Some last ditch defending prevented Dybala from getting a decent shot away while Messi attempted a cheeky free-kick under the wall, which came back to set up Luis Suarez, who was denied by a stunning Gianluigi Buffon save.

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And Ousmane Dembele, making his first start, fired over when he could have done better.

But, with half-time looming, Juventus committed the fatal error of switching off while Messi had the ball on the edge of the box.

Barca’s No 10 took off on a solo run before firing in his first-ever goal against the great Buffon.

Messi, who was booked for waving an imaginary yellow card at the referee, then turned a provider of sorts as he set up Ivan Rakitic to make it 2-0.

His effort was cleared off the line and the Croatian followed up.

Yet, he saved his best until last.

Playing on the shoulder of the last man, Andres Iniesta played a perfect ball through, and Messi took out two defenders with one touch, before hitting his second past Buffon.

It could have been worse as Suarez capitalised on a horrific error from the Italy legend, only to see it chalked off for offside.